tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 31, 2014 4:30am-7:01am EST
not. this comes as no surprise to vermonters because independence is the vermont way. my friends back home -- [cheers and applause] my friends back home have supported and encouraged my independence. i appreciate the support they have shown when they have agreed with me and their patience when they have not. i will ask for support and patience again which i understand will be very difficult for a number of my close friends. i have informed president bush vice president cheney, and senator lot of my decision. they are good people with whom i disagree. they have been fair and decent to me. and i have informed senator daschle also of my decision. three of these four men disagree with my decision. but i hope each understood my
reasons. and it is quite entirely possible that the fourth one may have second thoughts down the road. but anyway, that's the way it is. i have changed my party label but i have not changed my beliefs. indeed my decision is about affirming the principles that have shaped my careers. i hope that the people of vermont will understand it. i hope in time that my colleagues will as well. i am confident that it is the right decision. >> what do you say to those people who only six months ago [inaudible] [cheers and applause] so what do you say to them? >> i understand. and i'm sorry that i have no expectation -- >>
[inaudible] >> i was not campaign chairman but that's a small point. i believed at the time and had hoped at the time that those of us that are moderates of the party -- not just myself, and i speak imse sure for many moderates of the party, who had high hope when the president spoke of education and when he gave his dedication to education that we would be able to follow him. and i praise the president for his education package. it will alert this nation every student, every school, every state will know exactly how bad they are. and that's the problem that i have with it. because there are terrible problems out there that will have to be solved and that is why in the budget process i stood up and said, no, we can't give all this money back. we have too many high
priorities, education number one. we have got to provide the resources for the president's plan. if the resources are not there it's going to be misery in the school system. and i told this to the president personally. so it's not secret that i had these feelings. but i could not after that to see the direction of the budgetary process. and you know i stool up against that and we succeeded in getting some $300 billion extra spent but it is not being directed you should the budget process to education. >> you feel the president has not kept his campaign promise. >> i don't specifically remember a campaign to fund. he promised to give us new direction in education but new direction without funding is no useful direction at all. >> much has been made of the way the white house and the republican leadership including you -- their personal treatment of you had anything to do with this? >> nothing whatsoever. it gets laughable at times.
and you get upset with it like vermont's the national school teacher those kinds of things. but that had nothing to do with it. >> when did you make your decision? >> i made my decision yesterday on the way down, really. i will tell you why. why did you wait that long? i promised my moderates. i met with the moderates yesterday. and it was the most emotional time that i have ever had in my life with my closest friends urging me not to do what i was going to do because it affected their lives very substantially. i know for instance, the chairman of the finance committee has dreamed all his life of being chairman. he is chairman about a couple of weeks and now he will be no longer the chairman, all the way down the line i could see the ange wish and the disappointment as i talked.
so i told them i would not make my final decision until i had time on the way to vermont to decide. and i did leave it open. but i could not justify not going forward. >> the last question. last question. >> senator last week the [inaudible] the idea of leaving the party even crossed your mind. what have you done to date [inaudible] no longer feel comfortable? >> i've communicated with them either or myself have, to make sure they understood what i was doing and why i was doing it. >> thank you very much. thank you very much.
he represented the 17th district of ohio and was one on for outspoken speeches on the house floor. he died in september at the age of 73. in 2002, congress voted to expel him after he was convicted on 10 bribery accounts. -- 10 felony counts, including bribery. >> you heard on the news, the first national news story that i was involved in a scheme by contract. it made national headlines news. the one was a friend of mine. she was so distraught, she called me by phone. i did know what she was talking about. she called and recanted after they put her in protective custody for it weeks, paid her a
hundred dollars, and when she said she committed no crime then they demeaned her. through the process, they told her to ensure her safety to go public. now, if you are a juror -- if that is not poisoning, what is? the next one was a $150,000 addition. i'm an old chair. finally a man with a conscience gems of and says i want to apologize. they were going to indict me, takeaway my business, ruin my life, my attorney said why do you have to spend $500,000. tell them what they want to
hear. i did. i felt like a coward. immediately, went back to my office for an affidavit. the next day, he called the girlfriend and admitted what he said. now, on the get right to the point. i want you to imagine that there is a small army of patriots and they are facing a gigantic army armed to the teeth. the captain, trying to show strength, tells his assistant to go to the tents and get my bright red vest. he puts the red vest on says
come to show the power encourage of our people, without a side arm i'm going to carry the sword. the blood will not be seen because of my bright red vest and you'll be encouraged to fight for our homeland. he ran out into battle and was destroyed. his assistant came up and called his attendant. he say go to the tent and give it is dark brown pants. think about it. tonight i have dark pants on. in my skid to death? no. -- am i scared to death? no.
i will go to jail before resigning the to something i did not do. i will go case-by-case. the judge's husband is a senior partner in a law firm that represented one of the key witnesses in my case and that is not part of legal action. in addition, i'm not going to mention names, that person admitted to giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to politicians. he said he gave me $50,000 bribe because we're at a public meeting. he said we waited until everyone left, walked out together, sat in his car, and gave me his money.
one of my attorneys is a bright young attorney -- the chief judge of the northern district of ohio and he said, what do you want me to do. i came to that event when you're trying to put sales-tax together to leverage funds i walk you out in sight you get in the rain truck. another witness said he would pick me up in the green truck. i would to get my truck and went to put the hood up. they accepted the false testimony, even though he admitted to lying in a previous rico trial. that is one count. he is a patriot. i did not subpoena him because his attorney said don't subpoena
him, subpoena me. i did it. i felt sorry for him. before i was indicted, i have a tape where he says everything on that tape that he told the ethics committee. he said, i think i'm living in red china. now let's look at a few affidavits. dealing with david sugar. just yesterday, caught up with. they might pull me into jail for being out of my district. with one of my staffers close by, he admitted that he told harry that after the second fbi visited, because he backdated some invoices, that he did not lie. he would not only be divided
-- and i did, his wife, his daughter also. now, in addition to that amendment of joe stable told another constituent three days ago i feel so bad for jim david sugar told me the same thing. he said to me, i would love to help you. now he sang in the paper, i never said that. his attorney said, he admits to meeting traficant, but did nothing illegal. now let's talk about tony. his agreement, brother and coupon of fugitive warrant here's what he said $12,000
worth of work on the traficant farm and he owned me. not all of you know me. if you think someone on me, you throw me to hell out of here. witnesses testify that i asked him for jackhammers because we had a farm. i never had a farm. i asked him to let me use the jackhammer, and he said it was an insurance problem. the he said, i don't want you to do that. you get to close the barn and drop it in. and that's what happened folks. and that whole arm fell down. he came out and help me to prop it up. it cause my dad $15,000. guess what? he said yesterday that his
building happen to be firebombed last week. now all the records are missing. sinclair, now look, your prosecutors, mr. callahan made a hell of a point. i want the prosecutor think, you really want jim traficant. didn't allow me to testify. all my tapes -- even on those who took the fifth amendment. he lied through his teeth. his sister told me that there were three brothers and he was
my friend. she said he was sick. they took into florida where he had his leg amputated, brought him back and are children did not even attend the funeral. she submitted an affidavit and testified. god almighty here. now -- the prosecutor said traficant is too intelligent to be taped. why didn't a fake body injuries? i have a divisive i could take you right now, your conversation in the midst of all of this and you would not know you're being taped. the number one target in the
united states, the number was not cap. they did not when he get an admission. they did not want to get traficant saying go to that grand jury and do this. everybody that testified against me would have gone to jail and lost a law license and ruined their lives. a brother-in-law testifies. he said his brother-in-law told him that he was taped by someone that he had bribed a county engineer hundreds of millions of dollars. he told his brother-in-law that he'd go to jail for 10 years and was $15 million and all they wanted was traficant. he told his brother that he added up all the campaign contributions.
you know was amazing? it not allow the brother-in-law who is subject to jeopardy being sentenced in another case to testify. guess what i did? said i did this in a barn. i said what on was a question mark he could not identify the barn. or was i doing in a barn? he were cleaning the horses -- he said you were cleaning the horses holds -- cold is. anybody else in the barn? the juried into that one out. i have an affidavit on every one of these counts. sandy testified.
over a period of years, money that i borrowed from. when the irs nailed me, they took me to civil court and i made $2400 a month. that just ran out and now they are going to put me in jail for 12 years, take everything my wife and i owned. i'll go to jail, but i'll be dammed if i'll be pressured by a government that pressured these witnesses to death, to get a conviction on their number one target in the country. jim, an fbi special agent said if you get us anything like traficant, we will build a monument to you. i got an affidavit from a guy
from canada that i helped in a case where 11 chinese were arrested. he said, i want to thank jim traficant publicly. they said, stay away from traficant. i had an fbi agent who compromised one of my constituents. she said, i don't want my 87-year-old mother-in-law bothered. i'll be dammed if somebody's going to -- [inaudible] one of my constituents. >> the gentleman will avoid profanity or indecent language.
>> how much time do i have left? >> 3.5 minutes remaining. the gentleman is recognized. >> i have an affidavit of a scott brodie, sat through the whole trial -- i'd like your attention. i got this affidavit today about an hour before i came here. he was released today's before the trial -- two days before the trial. his aunt died. when he came back, he was dismissed. scott brodie, he said he knew the prosecutor would help him out. he said, i knew jim drop against was innocent. he said, i can see how he impeached the witnesses.
mr. berman said there was a recant. this is today's newspaper. mr. glaser said he didn't recant. on the evidence, he couldn't see himself convicting jim traficant. mr. brodie told the woman next to him -- i tried to get an avid ffidavit from her. her attorney informed us that she was afraid to get involved. [inaudible] look here. [indiscernible] that technology is already used
on our submarines and our naval aircraft carriers. bring those jobs, bring those headquarters from manassas. i've helped everybody in my district. i didn't even like some of them. when they have 150 employees -- [indiscernible] did i write letters to secretary of state? yes. did i write letters to secretary of commerce? yes. department of transportation? yes. but here is where i'm at tonight. i have been pressured for 20 years. in 1996, read this, dear
sheriff, after listening to -- [indiscernible] i decided to come forward. i would not lie. i'm proud now that i did not lie. enclosed is my truthful affidavit. here is what they wanted him to say. he was outside the door and heard a bribery deal. he didn't mention the $10,000. [indiscernible] he owed me money, never gave me the titles.
flying members of congress around, getting senators' girlfriends gifts, but you get out of jail free by getting the man right here. you must take america back. don't be surprised if i don't win behind bars. the american people are afraid of their government. why are we afraid of our government? i want you to listen to this. [indiscernible] they brought a 30-year veteran from philadelphia. seven trips in 40 days, a
quarter million dollars, and all he did was add up the numbers the prosecutor gave him. he said he did no investigation. when he left, he was so confused that he walked into the edge of the jury. listen carefully. when it comes to fingerprints, the judge smiled like a fox. she dismissed the jury. the prosecutor says, your honor -- [inaudible] 1000 documents. listen to this. he said, the one time i gave him an envelope and he took it immediately to the fbi. i'm an old sheriff.
look, you tell traficant -- [indiscernible] what i'm trying to tell you is, there is no physical evidence. when you talk about $2500 -- [inaudible] after i left my employment for 22 months, $2500 didn't go. an employee said he earned $50,000 from me and $50,000 from the government. he spent $60,000 on advertising. folks, they went back 15 years on a horse transaction.
they couldn't find -- [inaudible] if you drink five gallons of gatorade, you are going to expend five gallons of gatorade somewhere in one of these restrooms. you know what you have before you? we are getting to the point where a case can be brought for conspiring to buy kellogg's cereal. i'm prepared to lose everything. i'm prepared to go to jail. i'm going to tell you what -- [indiscernible] you know what jim traficant said about janet reno?
the administration wants them out. i said this on radio. i called janet reno a traitor. i believe in my heart, she is. i believe monica and henry were not that important, but i think that red army chinese general -- i'm going to tell it like it is. [indiscernible] the democrats didn't want clinton and the party hurt, you let it slide. janet reno if i don't go to jail, i'll be in orlando. you aren't going to be elected to any damn thing.
how much time do i have left? >> the gentleman has 22 minutes left. i would caution the gentleman to please avoid profanity, indecent language. the gentleman should address the chair and not other members by their first names. the gentleman may proceed. >> it is tough to comply with some of those rules. it was brought up, why don't you go to speaker hastert? hastert owes you. i didn't go to speaker. you go ahead and expelled me.
you made the irs, the fbi, the justice department so strong. i want to thank bill archer and the republican party. 12 years, i tried to change the burden of proof to protect the american peoples' homes from being seized. those details are relevant to my case and the irs hates me for it. the law was passed in 1998. 95% of the american public wanted the traficant bill. the republican chairman called me and said, we are going to put your burden of proof in and put your language on seizure in the conference, and wrote me a letter giving me the credit. let me give you the statistics that i'm proud of and i want to
share. this may be the last time i'm employed, and i expect it. the year before compared to the year after the law -- [indiscernible] thank you, mr. archer. property liens dropped to 161,000. seizures of individual family-own homes dropped to 57 in 50 states. congratulations. i want to fight these people. i want to fight them like a
junkyard dog. they tied my hands behind my back and that first vote was 7-5. i'm not going to get into the personal dynamics. there were some people that were predisposed to vote against me and that upset him. by the way, one of the jurors said, it is unfortunate, but most of those members of congress are crooks anyway. i don't think we are crooks. i never ripped off -- [indiscernible] i have a lot of hispanics. yes, i voted for mr. dornan.
i got legal precedent by allowing legal immigrants to vote in the election. i'm sorry, but that's the way it is. since then i think you have been an excellent member. if you've been offended by that i'm sorry. i will say this -- [indiscernible] i think anybody who jumps the fence shouldn't be made a citizen. they should be thrown out. i'm saddened to my heart i can't vote on it. i don't know how much time i have left. show me one piece of physical evidence. mr. d tour spent $600,000 and is now without an attorney. his last attorney, he paid $239,000 to, went to the judge
and said, i don't know anything and ask to be withdrawn from the case. he had already given $239,000. one thing rang true. every one of the witnesses that testified -- they had some witnesses scared to death. a few witnesses had already gone to jail. you know what i don't blame anyone of you. i think if they had something on -- i'm going to say this, that is violating the sanctity of this house. he said, i will not lie.
if they indict me, go ahead and indict me. he talked about $1000. why did you pay so much? i rented a corvette because i wanted a car to drive and speak at one of the events. i had the car for three weeks. it got picked up on 395. i ended up paying $6,000. i paid for it and got the records. everything i paid was by check or a credit card. no cash in 20 years. my god, if you don't give me a right to appeal a judge -- [indiscernible]
who is our last bastion of appeal? speaker, i voted for you. i thought you were better for this country. i thought this program was better. i apologize for my comments. it was in the heat of the moment. i apologize for those words. >> tonight on c-span, we remember a few of the celebrity who is died in 2014, starting with actor and comedian robin williams. here's a look. >> and i guess the bottom line is we're here tonight because
of the shrub. you know who i'm talking about. george w. bush jr., the w stands for where the hell is it. you look at george w., and you realize some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some get it as a graduation gift. so sad. i just want to ask the secret service if it's true that his secret service code name is gilligan. is that really true? gilligan's on the move, little buddy. keep going. always frightening to me. basically, i hate to see him keep asking if he can use his lifeline. no! you can't call your dad. can't do it. not going to do it. can't help you now. i know it, i know it, can't see it not going to do it. yes, yes!
you run for office, not the brightest bulb on the tree, just go. so frightening. i don't want to see him in charge of the economy. basically it's like giving o.j. a bennihana. no. no! >> the memorial continues with minnesota republican congressman bill frenzel who died at the age of 88. he was best known for his work as ranking member of the budget committee. in 2012, congressman frenzel discussed the 1990 budget deals which established rules for federal spending that still exists today. when president george w. bush signed the bill, he was accused of breaking his no new taxes pledge made during the 1988 campaign. this is 10 minutes.
>> you gave me a comment that you were in the minority in the minority but you did vote for the final package. i don't really if you voted for the first package, but i assume you did. but welcome, and thank you for your willingness to share your memories of that agreement. >> i'm honored to be sitting in a nice senator's seat with all these luminaries who worked so hard on that adventure. and first, i think i ought to say i subscribe to the sununu theory of what happened. i think he outlined it pretty much according to my recollection. when he got done i said it was
pretty good, except he was too easy on newt. >> it's my warmth and charm. >> i have some comments, but we all look at the thing a little differently, depending on where we sat and because i sat at the lowest rung on the ladder, my perception of what happened are probably undoubtedly, going to be less valuable than those of the other people that sat there. but i look at the differences between now and 1990, and, you know we have the divided government. we had it then. 1990 was easier because, as bill often points out, we didn't have a debt ratio weighing on us.
we had a significant deficit of course, but the long term looked possible if we could solve the short-term problem. so that was different and easier. also in 1990 the parties were competitive, but they were not polarized as they are today. in those days, the bad guys were the opposition. they are the enemy. and there's a world of difference between those two words. yes, we had some distrust, but also, we had some ability to work with each sandore believe each other and made life easier at that time. there were other divisions in the congress -- the party polarization today tends to make it republicans versus democrats all the way. there were other sub-factions in those days, budget versus
appropriators, etc., that cut across some of those party lines. the most important difference in my judgment, however, is that there was less outside pressure on the negotiators from radio and tv extremists, lobbyists, core constituencies, users of social media etc. mostly the negotiators labored in blissful anonymity. they got plenty of press, but they didn't get 500 emails every minute in their office and they didn't have people featuring them on tv and crucifying them with regularity. i don't want to stay at this too long but for me there are some lessons in both of these.
and one is that, in budget matters, never rely on regular order. it doesn't work. agreement takes -- when everybody has a veto, nothing gets done. the aagreement such as was forged in 1990 takes both leadership and followership. we've credited all the leaders, and we know who they were. you also have to give some credit to those who follow, and as john sununu pointed out and david did, too, there were those who did not follow. and they altered the ultimate form of that particular agreement. you need to appoint a few people to do the negotiating and let them be the leaders and hope that others follow.
as a minority house negotiator, i believe that my single most important contribution to that agreement in 1990 was that i did not get in the way of anybody doing important things. the final negotiations have to be done at the top, and they got to have some support as john pointed out, republican support fell apart in the house . as a kind of interesting aside, i would mention that there's a suspicion that that may be afoot again this year. that house negotiators may not have the full support on the republican side, as we didn't have in 1990 and i think john was right about the opposition bubbling up pretty much at the end of the process.
i'm really not a very perceptive fellow, but it didn't occur to me until perhaps a week before the first vote came up that we were getting into trouble and that we had a lot of falling off. another rule for me is that deadlines are crucial. without them, negotiations never end. i thought six months was much too long in 1990, but hell, we're in our fourth year now and getting nowhere. and i suppose the one advantage this year is the fiscal cliff is the deadline, is the dire, disastrous deadline, and so something is going to have to be done, whether it's the right thing, whether it's as good as 1990 or not, i don't know. another rule for me is ignore the outsiders. don't give the core constituencies the lobbyists much time.
and they're going to always be mad at you. get the job done as quickly as you can under the rules before the extremists turn up the pressure. i guess another rule for me is if you turn down a responsible deal you'll get a worse one. that's exactly what happened to john and to me in 1990. republicans in the house knew that they were going to sentence themselves to a worse deal. they apparently were perfectly willing to let that happen. turned out to be a better deal for david. congratulations. and a worse one for us. another thought that i learned from david a long time ago is that no deal is perfect. even the deal that we republicans thought was less good in 1990 did help lead to
those clinton surpluses a few years later. any kind of a good deal is going to be disliked by everybody as two speakers have already pointed out, those who vote for it are likely to lose their jobs. i would urge them to do so anyway because even in a recession, there's probably better work out there than you need in congress anyway. thank you. >> the 114th congress convenes in a little over a week. here's a look at some of the numbers. republicans will have 247 members in the house the largest g.o.p. majority since the 1928 elections. and there will be 188 house democrats. at the age of 85, michigan democratic congressman john conyers becomes the dean of the house, replacing the retired john dingell. incumbent new york republican representative lee stefanik
will be the youngest member. the average age of the house members will be 57. our programming concludes with minimum men congressman jim oberstar, a democrat from the eighth district. he was best known for his work as transportation committee chairman. mr. oberstar, minnesota's longest sembings congressman, died in may at the age of 79. in 2010, he sat down for an enter swrue c-span just before retiring. this is 30 minutes. he conducted an interview with c-span just before retiring. this is 30 minutes. >> chairman oberstar, i want to start with partisanship, if we could. first of all, let's stay with the home state. help me understand a state that can support the dfl and the tea party? >> i think this was a unique year of a national wave of
reaction against a number of national issues. they did converge in minnesota. they did next door and wisconsin. that could virgin's of anger -- that convergence of anger, lack of understanding perception that the country was off course just came together. we lost the minnesota state senate for the first time since 1972. not only lost the majority lost a 2/3 majority. similarly in the minnesota state house. in my own district, a fringe area around the suburbs, there
was a swing. all the state legislators lost in that area. yet, we elected a democrat to the governors office. that was a curious outcome. but it affirms the independence of minnesota voters. >> did you see this coming? >> i knew from the very beginning of the year after the obama inaugural that we were in for a very difficult year. this is a transition election. it was a transformational time. presidents proposed very challenging options for the congress and the american people.
we had a huge debt override. we had massive unemployment. and the troubled assets relief program to manage, to deal with. i knew in january we were not going to get these problems solved by the time of the next election. i had prepared by campaign staff that we would have to work very hard and a lot of outreach and take on these issues. but not shrink from the tough looks. health care, i knew, was going to be the toughest. for me, this is something very visceral. in 1948, the steelworkers union,
which my father was a founder. in fact, he had card number one in 1937. in 1948, they were negotiating contracts with mixed steel and propose coverage of health insurance and retirement in their contract. the steel company's appeal to the regulations board that said that retirement and health insurance are not subject of contract negotiations. harry truman won the election. he had come to the iron range, he had spoken at a big rally there. he replaced the chairman of the national labor relations board. the steelworkers union appealed the previous decision. the board ruled that health
insurance and retirement are extensions of pay. three years later, 1952, the steel workers went on strike for 150 days. i brought lunch buckets out to my father and other men who were on strike. i remember it well. they won. they prevailed. over time, they improved their inclusion of health insurance and retirement pay in their contract negotiations. i wish my father lived long enough to see the day we passed a national health insurance program. it isn't universal coverage, it isn't single-payer, but it is a vast improvement. >> we had in a series of these interviews with members who are not coming back about the fact that over the course of the last
25 or 30 years, it has been a time of growth in the united states. it has always been building in growth for the most part. we are in $14 trillion worth of debt right now. the current congress will find ways to trim government. the question that comes to mind, is it more fun being a congressman when you were there or for the current crop? >> i served on the budget committee for six years during the reagan era. we spent hours and hours of finding ways to trim the spending cut that program, and meet the goals of deficit reduction. it is not a pleasant task.
it is one that requires cooperation of the executive branch and the legislative branch. i understand how difficult it is to balance that. in that first reagan budget, it eliminated the grant program for waste-water treatment construction. to clean up our household municipal waste and converting that to a loan program. then the loan program was restricted further. those are the purposes for which i sought service in the congress and i want to expand the support of government for those public
purposes that have broad social benefits such as clean water. we are not creating more water in this world. all the water that ever is will be with us today. we need to protect it and handed on to the next generation. i have also served congress long enough to have voted for the clinton deficit reduction package, the bill that set us on course to a balanced budget in 2001. $236 billion budget surplus. in 1993, we voted to cut programs for 400 federal agencies. we reduced the number of subcommittees in the house. we cut our own budget. there was a structural change in
the function of government. we also recaptured some of the high-end tax revenue from those high earners that reagan had cut taxes for. the result was $236 billion budget surplus. that was held up $5.70 trillion in january 2001. we were on track to have zero debt held by public in 10 years. then president bush pushed through huge tax cuts for the richest 2% of americans, locked us into two wars and it was not offset by a share of sacrifice by all americans.
that put us on course to high unemployment. together with the financial meltdown the change in the glass spiegel act allowed non-banks to function as banks but the we had this market. we had this huge collapse of the home mortgage market, the domestic and international financial market. the need for a rescue package somehow, that becomes the democrats' problem and not the republicans' problem. whether we did not express a properly, we did address it. while the tarp was a bush air a
initiative to deal with this worldwide financial meltdown, the restrictions we put on, accountability, secretary of treasury paulson wanted $750 billion. we held them accountable. we put restraints on it. now, all but $20 billion will be paid back. the message got lost in this last election. coming back to your original question yes, i knew we had all these difficult issues to deal with. i knew we had health care to deal with. i did not anticipate health care taking so long. i thought it is something we would see through to enactment in 2009. but that didn't happen because
of delays and filibusters. there are 412 house-passed bills , many by the committee on transportation infrastructure that have not been acted upon. the democrats have the white house, the senate, and the house and they cannot pass the bills. somehow, in the telling of the story, the other part wasn't told, about the republicans in the senate that dictated the agenda. senator mcconnell -- give him credit for that. he is very skillful at maneuvering filibusters on the right time and making it difficult for us to move our agenda. much of it was pending in the
senate. that included the future of aviation. >> let me ask about partisanship in congress. i've heard a theme repeated throughout interviews about lamenting the partisanship, or lack of bipartisan cooperation in congress. do you share that lament, and if so, can you trace its roots? >> in our committee, we have had the best bipartisanship of any committee in the house and the senate. in 2007, we passed a law to expand the locks on the mississippi and improve navigation and protect against floods and rebuild the wetlands.
and other such work for the corps of engineers who are vital to the well-being of this nation. president bush vetoed that bill. he overrode the veto. that is bipartisanship. that is a 2/3 vote. in the history of the congress, there have been 1170 vetoes. i established a partnership with the ranking member of florida. not just when i took the chairmanship, but prior to that, when i was chair of the aviation subcommittee. in his first term of congress, he served on that committee. i established an inclusiveness with the republicans.
during the years later got we served in the minority, when mr. schuster was chairman, we travelled the country for the transportation bill that was later known as the t-21. in atlanta, at the end of a news conference, the last question was a reporter who said "why are you a democrat siding with mr. schuster the republican?" i said because i never saw a democratic road or republican bridge. we will build all american road and all-american bridges. the reporter turned to mr. shuster in said "where your -- said "why are you, a republican, traveling with jim oberstar?" he said that we were joined at the hip and we reached a common
ground for the better of the country. not everyone has the best the ideas. if you find common ground, you reach good ideas, good policy that is workable for the country. throughout 20007 and 2008 we passed significant legislation reauthorizing amtrak for example. mr. mica came from one perceptive. i came from another. he had an idea of engaging the private sector. i didn't think that would be workable. but as we talked, as we looked each other in the eye, there was a trust between us. he is not setting a trap for me and i am not setting a trap for him. we were being open and honest to see what we could do for the
greater public good. we achieved authorization for amtrak that eventually, the following year, 2008, president bush signed into law. i can say that for the state loan fund, the faa authorization bill we passed in 2007, and then again in 2009. a host of other measures putting the posfirst photovoltaic system in the department of energy. republican leadership took more control of committee initiatives
and set a harder and more difficult edge. example, their position on earmarks. we've never considered the works of the corps of engineers earmarks. congress has always authorized the corps of engineers. you start with a survey of revolutions. authorize a study to determine whether a levy is the right approach or some other initiative is the right approach. what are some potential cost and benefit?
that goes back to the congress. we review it and authorize the next step, then a third step, until it goes all the way through and has a signature of the chief of engineers. republican leadership took the position that this is the category of an earmark and told their members they cannot recommend projects to the core of engineers. that created a point of friction. members knew that constituents wanted these projects. we require members to sign a statement that each member submitting a request has no personal or family interest in the project. secondly, there is a request from a local unit of government that says, we request the project and we have the
nonfederal funds to match the federal dollars to carry this to completion. steps like that disrupted the bipartisanship. in this committee room, i said, we need to move this bill. when we get to the point of bringing it to the house floor if there is a change of heart you are welcome to bring your projects back to the authorization level. that could have been done very differently and made highly partisan. i said, that's not the right way to conduct the public's business. >> let us take it to a different subject. between your 18 terms as a member and your time as a staffer on capitol hill, you have seen a lot of presidents. i am wondering which of those he felt was the best at promoting his own legislative agenda.
who worked with the congress most effectively? >> lyndon b. johnson, no doubt about it. kennedy was an idea person who inspire people and aroused their best passion, their best instincts, and appealed to the greater good of each individual. lyndon johnson knew how to get it done. he spent a lot of time on the phone. depending on the nature of the problem, if it was a big problem, i need your help. he worked every issue personally in addition to having a very able staff that worked the hill on both sides of the house and the senate. i have never seen someone so effective as johnson.
in one instance, i had worked with my predecessor on the public works economic development act. i did a great deal of the staff work, writing the language, the committee report, conference report. i was invited to the white house along with other authors for the signing. lyndon johnson grabbed me by the lapel and said "i want you to tell john that i want that." i went right across the room to john and said, -- he looked at me laughing and said, "i know what you are here for and i will do it." i've never seen a president operate that way. if he had not had vietnam on his shoulder, he would have been on the books as the greatest
president. >> we only have eight or nine minutes left. i'd like to look across the arc of time you've served here and ask if you can tell me what your most memorable vote was. >> i can tell you my most memorable bill, and i've had many. my first term, second year in congress, the house and senate have passed a cost-of-living adjustment for retired federal employees. shortly afterward, i received a letter from a constituent saying , i noticed that congress passed this cost-of-living adjustment for retirees. i'm a federal employee. i'm a white house retiree. i did not get an adjustment. why? fair question.
it turns out they had their own separate retirement program. it should have been included in a separate provision of that cost of living adjustment. they were not because people did not notice. i introduced legislation. there were 174 retirees. we had just passed this bill. it was a footnote to history. the office of personnel services objected. i said, no, this is the right thing to do. the committee, house, senate passed it, and gerald ford signed it into law. i signed it, sent it to my
constituents and said the congress has acted to correct the problem you brought to my attention. a few days later -- quite a few days later, i received a letter his wife saying, my husband received your note. he was so thrilled to know that this had passed. he died the next day. he died knowing that government could work for even one person. >> the moral is, if you have something write your congressman. >> the constitution provides every citizen the right to petition the government. that person petitioned the government and the grievance was redressed. although his widow received the benefit, he didn't receive the benefit, he knew that government
could work together for one person. >> you have spent a lot of time in this room. what are you going to miss most? >> i'm going to miss the hearing process, the give-and-take. the seeking of the right answer the seeking of truth. that has been my quest in all my service of congress. i'm going to miss problem solving. i find the most rewarding, most challenging, as with the retiree , or with the problem of a need for a light rail service in the city of minneapolis, where that is a $480 million issue, it is finding a way to make it work, to get it done.
that i find the most rewarding part of the public service. >> i was reading a story about you clearing out your office after all these years. lots of history in that space that you've accumulated over these decades. what are you going to do with your papers? have you decided? >> the minnesota historical society director came up to review the files and help me understand what they find useful for history and which things to discard, as did the library of congress. we have separated the documents. committee work has gone largely to the library of congress. my papers, 120 boxes, are going to the minnesota historical
society and probably eight or 10 boxes of material that i will find useful in whatever i pursue next are staying with me. >> have you decided what you want to do next? >> i would like to teach at a graduate level and to help shape the thought of the next generation of transportation professionals. i want to continue to be engaged in those aspects of transportation that i have found the most exciting and rewarding, the livability issues, safe routes to school, which i initiated in 2000 and is now a program across the country. changing the habits of an entire generation of children and moving them from inactivity to an active lifestyle and reducing the possibility of growth in obesity. i want to be engaged with the
complete streets and the safety issues in transportation. that is quite an agenda. it is much of what has propelled me in the committee work that i've done. >> you leave this institution with an obvious amount of fondness and respect for what can be accomplished. the public view of congress is at one of its all-time lows. what is it going to take to turn that around? >> i think there is the problem with the economy. there is a perception that it just didn't turn around fast enough. in this age of instant communication, where the blackberry sends you a message people get used to that. it didn't turn around overnight. the portion that we did, our
committee, i held hearings every 30 days. we can account for 1,300,000 jobs. we should have had twice as much -- 8% of the stimulus accounted for half the jobs created. we should have had three times as much funding in highways and waste-water treatment and taxiways and transit buses. we would have had 3 million people working. it is going to take that turnaround of job creation and some fiscal discipline to bring down the annual deficit and the long-term debt of thefederal government, and that will help to restore the public trust. >> last question, and it is a short one. if you can put a single word to
your emotion as you leave this place, what would that be? >> nostalgia. >> and now i need to say, why? >> because i love what i have worked for and accomplished, seeing people go back to work in my district, with a steel or iron ore processing plant that was shut down because of a lack. engaging a steel mill in china to commit and be a partner putting people back to work, creating jobs, and a new business such as aviation aircraft seeing the jobs created. this was a time when you made a difference in people's lives and i won't be able to do it in the same way, so there is a feeling of accomplishment.
i worked to the fullest of my ability every day. it is the greatest honor to be conferred on you, to be elected by your peers to serve in the public arena in this greatest democracy on the face of the earth, and to believe that is difficult. but i had intended to in the next two or four years to wind it all down and have another pursuit of my energies and interests, so it is the end of a chapter, not the end of a book. >> >> the 114th congress convenes in a little over a week. here's a look at some of the numbers. republicans will have 247 members in the house the largest g.o.p. majority since
the 1928 election. and there will be 188 house democrats. california democratic senator dianne feinstein is the oldest member of the body at 81, while incoming arkansas republican tom cotton will be the youngest at 37. the average age of senators in the 114th congress will be 61. >> this sunday on "q&a," the president and c.e.o. of the national council of l.a. as a, the nation's largest hispanic civil rights group on the state of america, her compelling personal story. >> i had the great privilege of experiencing the american dream here in this country, born in kansas you know, my parents actually came to this country from a very early 1950's, very
early 1950's. my parents came from mexico with no money and very little education. i think my dad had an eighth grade education, my mom a fifth grade education. and yet they believed in the promise of this country and they were seeking better opportunities for their children. and so they worked really hard and sacrificed as so many latinos and hispanics have done in this country because they wanted that better future for their children and they believed in the promise of this country, so they really taught us important values that have been our guide for our lives for me and my siblings, my six brothers and sisters. but they taught us the importance of family, of faith of community, hard work sacrifice, honesty, integrity, all of those were important values that they shared with us
. sunday night at 8:00 eastern pacific on c-span's "q&a." now national hockey league commissioner gary bettman and washington capitals owner ted leonsis on the future of the nhl. they spoke about the intersection of technology with the sport. the nhl's annual winter classic game being played in washington, d.c. on new year's day, and their efforts to bring the olympic games to the nation's capital. from the national press club this is an hour. >> good afternoon and welcome. i'm a former international bureau chief with the associated press and the 107th president of the national press club. the national press club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists committed to our profession's
future, through our programming with events such as this, while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club, please visit our website at press.org. on behalf of our members worldwide, i'd like to welcome our speakers, those of you attending today's event. our head table includes guests of our speakers, as well as working journalists who are club members. and so if you hear applause in our audience i note that members of the general public are attending, so it is not necessarily evident of a lack of journalistic objectivity if youer that applause. i'd also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. you can follow the action on twitter using the hash tag #npclunch. after our guests' speech concludes, we'll have a question and answer period. i will ask as many questions as time permits. now it's time to introduce our head table guests. i'd like each of to you stand briefly as your name is
introduced. from your right, john doman coach of the national press club division softball team, who also happens to be a reporter for wnew f.m. jennifer berlin, deputy political director for every voice. jonathan washington correspondent for the new jersey advance media reporter, former national press club president, and a former coach of the championship-winning national press club softball team. jason anthony, strategic partner at clear channel and a member of the national press club's broadcast committee. pat host, the speaker committee member who helped organize today's event. i will skip over our guest of honor while i introduce the rest of the head table.
the washington into re chief for the buffalo news, chair of the speaker's committee and a former national press club president. this is the other speaker committee member who helped organize today's event. frank brown, the national hockey league vice president for media relations and a guest of mr. bettman. bob cartman, freelance writer and the head of the communications. and national association of home builders, communication manager, and frank masano, a member of the national press club news makers committee and a hockey referee for the past 25 years. national hockey league commissioner gary bettman, washington capitals owner ted
leonsis are with us today to face off and speak about the state of the national hockey league and the upcoming winter classic, which will be in d.c. for the first time. mr. bettman has been the nhl commissioner for two decades. under his leadership, nhl revenue has expanded from $400 million to more than $3 billion. he also led the expansion of the nhl's national and global reach with six teams added during his tenure, bringing the total in the nhl to 30. he's navigated the waters of three labor lockouts, to include the cancellation of the 2004-2005 season. mr. leonsis is c.e.o. of monumental sports and entertainment, which operates the washington capitals, the washington wizards in the nba, and the washington mystics in the wnba, and the verizon center. he has several other business interests, and he's a leader in the d.c. philanthropic
community, supporting charities with an emphasis on military families. we're interested to hear details of our guests, defrails our guests that guests, that they can share about the winter classic on january 1 with the chicago black hawks, when they take on the capitals at the washington nationals stadium. we are also interested in hearing other issues facing the nhl and professional sports in general. we are pleased our guests have brought with them the family cup, which one day -- the stanley cup, which one day perhaps will reside in washington, which one day we hope will reside in washington for longer than a link of this luncheon. please join me in welcoming gary bettman and ted leonsis to the national press club. one speaker will talk until
1:30. they will have a conversation, and then at 1:30, we will start the q&a. the chairs are yours. >> thank you very much. i am gary, that is ted. i want to give a shout out to the canadian ambassador to the united states. it is great to have you here. [applause] he happens to be a big fan of hockey, who is very interested in the jets returning to winnipeg. it is good to have you. ted, let's talk for a second about what the stanley cup means to an owner in the nhl. without attempting to embarrass you, we have to have a discussion about where we sat so you would be further away from the cup at this point in time. what goes through your mind, and i think on your 100 bucket list,
winning the cup is one of them. what it does it mean as an owner? >> it creates lifelong memories for every member of the community. to be able to craft and build a winning sports team and win a championship, it is a bit of immortality for people. i am involved in lots of businesses, but there is really no higher calling to have the collective psychic of all the people in the community in the palm of your hands. the is also no bigger risk and danger when you disappoint people on that. because scratch any individual especially in a sports crazed town, and you will find an expert who can do it better than you.
i am going to continue to try as hard as i can with the caps, with the wizards, with the mystics, to make a team that is as good as the community we serve and bring a championship here to d.c. [applause] >> let's take a step back. you brought the capitals in 1999. you subsequently acquired the wizards in the verizon center. before that, what was going through your mind when you said i want to own a sports team, i want to own the capitals, i want to be a hockey owner? >> i had a life reckoning when i was a young person and ended up making a life list of things to do before i die. it was amazing looking back at how many had to do with sports. i grew up playing sports, the
commissioner in the nhl, and we just dedicated a rink in the southeast part of our community ward 6, and it reminded me as a young man of leaving school at 3:00 and going and playing roller hockey and basketball, and it became so central to the person i became -- competitive wanted to be a part of teams trying to accomplish things collectively -- so sports played a big role in my life. i wrote down owning a sports team that wins a championship on the bucket list. all of a sudden you have the opportunity to do that. i initially passed when i was approached to buy the caps. i was the president of america online married, had children, thought it was a lot of money, a lot of work.
i frankly did not want the notoriety and the spotlight, but that that would be a tough environment because i knew what i would get into in running a public trust. i went home that night and i said what's new and i said a guy offered a hockey team, and she said what did you say, and i said i passed. she said before i went to bed, what if you got 199 things done before you die? how would you feel? [laughter] that is why i love you. i have to buy the team. it's been a family endeavor family labor of love. the commissioner has been great in teaching us how to do it. it is really funny as an owner. we take stupid pills. >> no, really?
>> you think because you have been moderately successful in one field that you know what you are doing instantly in sports. now that i have been in pro sports for some time, i see it. we laugh together. here comes the new owner. i know what he is going to say what he is going to spend, what he is going to do. this time it is going to be different. the leagues are very, very responsible for creating an environment where you can not do a lot of harm, but you can do a lot of good. and, i'm very grateful to gary for coming here today, but i am really grateful not only for the guidance and what he has done for the league, but he gifted the winter classic to d.c. this has not been considered a traditional hockey market. we have been working night and
day to craft a great team, to build youth hockey, to connect with the consciousness of the community to make them fall in love with hockey. we have been fortunate that we have a good team, superstar players. we sell out every game. when i saw the winter classic, the very first one on television, i literally sent an e-mail to gary before the puck dropped. i said, i think i'm in love. [laughter] this is the greatest visual i've ever seen on television. it looked like a snow globe. to see so many people outdoors at a hockey game -- i pretty much spent the next several years every day saying don't forget about washington.
>> actually, i don't know if i would call it a gift. it's like the kid who for christmas gives his parents his list every day for four years and is going to throw a temper tantrum if he does not get it. [laughter] that is an overstatement. ted, as you know from following the wizards and the caps, is a passionate owner. he says it is stupid pills. i think your passion when you first come into buy a team is something that drives you in ways that you would not have any other business because no matter what business you buy, you would never be as passionate as buying a sports team. what is it like day to day being an owner? how high do you get on the wins, how low do you get on the lows? does it affect you in ways you never imagined? >> it can be wearing. it can be joyful.
the social responsibility of owning these teams -- they are small businesses. i have run really big businesses. employed hundreds of thousands of people, companies that go public and create a lot of value. you own a sports team and there are hundreds of millions of dollars. we employ hundreds of people. yet, because of the media -- i'm here for the press club. i could come to the press club weekly, i think, because i own sports teams. when i was president of aol, you would not give me a sniff. [laughter] right? we'd launch a new piece of software that would do $4 billion in revenues in its first year and you would get a
write-up like this in "the washington post." and we trade a third line player and there are columnists writing about it, there's news and ap. so, sports has become such a defining element in all businesses. when you look critically at the demography of our country, 65% of our population is now coagulated around 32 big cities. that phenomenon continues. it is one of the reasons that d.c. has become a magnificent place to work. great kids come to our universities. they're introduced to how great the city is. they want to stay here. they get jobs. the ip stays here, the innovation stays here and it starts to feed upon itself. there are very few iconic
institutions that define a major metro area. it is universities. we have georgetown, george washington, american, catholic maryland, on and on. we have unbelievable universities. it is iconic real estate. no one has iconic real estate like washington, d.c. the monument -- just go down the mall. it is breathtaking. it is public space. manhattan was unlivable. watch "gangs of new york" if you want a reintroduction of what manhattan was like until they built central park. we have got the most iconic gathering space. "i have a dream" speech was delivered here. for my kids, it was walking from virginia, because they closed the bridge, to go to the first inauguration of president obama. 5 million people on the mall.
fourth is a defining business community. silicon valley, hollywood, wall street. this is the federal city where we were created to be the people's city. last is sports teams. you close your eyes and think chicago and you think of the blackhawks or the cubs. you think boston -- you think montreal, you think of the canadiens. here we have the most important economic and social centers and sports teams play this pivotal defining role. that responsibility can be daunting because it can only be one team that wins. that means there are 29 losers every year. [laughter] it's true.
business is not like that. you can take a company public and create billions of dollars of value and wealth and have the number two or number three market share and you are a success. you can launch a product that is as good and has some features that are better and you are a success. in sports, you lose the seventh game of the stanley cup in overtime and you are the loser. [laughter] >> talking about cities and economics. one of my pet peeves is you get these academic economists who will tell you that sports teams don't have an economic impact. arenas, the publicly financed, have no economic impact. i happen to think that is absurd. talk about the verizon center, formerly the mci center, and whether or not it had an impact on washington, d.c. >> it has had a defining impact on washington, d.c.
mr. pollin was a visionary. very brave. he also structured a deal that was not a great deal with the city, but it led the way for the city to see how great the economic impact would be and that is why we have nationals park and the baseball team. basically, when i went to georgetown university as a student i was told to enjoy the campus, enjoy georgetown, go to the mall, but whatever you do, do not go anywhere near 10th street. 10th street was adult bookstores, drug dealing prostitution. now it is the shakespeare theater and the national portrait gallery. i don't think verizon center can take all of the credit, but it
certainly can take the credit for being the first pioneer to believe in the city and to allow this development to go around it. today, within a mile each way of verizon center, about 12% of the city's tax base is generated. i so, we have been named washington business of the year several times because we bring 2.5 million people into the community. guess what, they come into washington and it has become a living infomercial about d.c. the first couple of years, that verizon center was up nobody was coming to games because they were afraid of the neighborhood.
somebody finally came to a game and said it was safe and nice. there is lazy thinking in reporting everywhere. not that the media would ever do anything. >> nobody here. >> certainly, nobody in this room. some would say unsafe, downtown can be unsafe. washington is the safest city in the world. [applause] it's not unsafe. we held a concert for half a million people and a game for 20,000 people at the same time. not an incident was reported. innot an incident was reported. mostly because we have nice people but also because everybody kind of knows there are probably more cameras and more interagency cooperation in this community than any place on earth. and so, the economic benefits
are important and they show up in stacks. we have the most phd's of any community in the world. we have the most fiber and bandwidth of any community in the world. we speak the most languages of any community. 170 languages are spoken in d.c. 20% of the population is foreign-born. almost 80,000 people have moved back into the city. there was this trend of people moving out of cities. baby boomers. they all moved back. so, just go around nationals park -- i just drove by today as we were dedicating the playground. there are more cranes up here than any city on earth. people used to brag about
beijing and shanghai. that is happening here. this is the greatest place. i think the first pebble that was thrown into the pond was the belief that downtown could be thriving and safe and be a place for the creative class. that is a central role we play in the city's economy. >> you touched on technology. your background from where you really made your money was in technology. talk about the intersection at this point in time of technology, sports. what this over-the-top stuff is that people are talking about and why you started the monumental network. >> technology's like oxygen. we all better get used to it. we are living in this world
where these phenomenons of moore's law and the network effect where the more people i communicate with and they communicate with and we create these networks, the more productive we become. those are two self-evident theorems that our generation and the next generation are privvy to. because of that, there is more technology being introduced on an annual basis than 50 years previous. i worked on my first computer at georgetown university. in 1976, there was one computer on campus in the registrar's office. my iphone 6 has more computing power than the whole campus had when i was a junior. that is unbelievable progress, right?
it costs $500 now to do that. we have 6 million mobile subscribers around the world and 3 million people connected to the web. by the way, we in the united states have less than 300 million. we are now less than 10% of the world's internet traffic. we cannot claim that anymore as our resource because the internet is so ubiquitous and available. it will activate creative classes all around the world. young people -- it's fantastic. thousands of flowers blooming. it is what we imagined. it is also a huge threat to us and our competitiveness. so there is no field that is not being transformed quickly by technology. sports is going to be no different. obviously we have a lot of work that is going on in being able
to algorithmically study performance of players, how we market our teams, how we deliver information. algorithms rule. we teach our children math and mandarin. probably the two most important subjects. i see right now that everything is an internet device. you've got your fitbit on. i have already done, for those counting, 10,500 steps today. [applause] >> i ate that many calories. [laughter] >> and so, i really do see we will be big data generating machines. our physiognomy, our vision.
what we see. somebody interviewed me outside in the hallway wearing google glass. your glasses, your watch, your wallet, your belt buckle -- it is all going to be connected. you will have cameras on you. that will be tremendous for sports and athletes and the data it generates. the way we deliver information is changing dramatically. right now, there is a couple of million homes that pay for cable. there are 6 billion homes that pay for some kind of a mobile subscription. it is a huge business to be connected to television. sports is proving to be the only
programming on pay television that can convene in real-time large audiences of people. that is very counter to if you asked 10 years ago to somebody what is more valuable -- produced television or sports. i saw this five years ago. my daughter was a freshman in college. she came home with some girlfriends and they binge watched "gossip girl." i remember walking downstairs and asked what they were doing. they were watching all four seasons of it. i asked what network it was on. she said, apple tv? she did not know. was paying $1.99 to watch what
was on free television on the cw. you can't do that with the game last night. sports in real time has this unbelievable power and it has become the economic driver on primetime television. i think eight of the top 10 shows were nba, nfl shows. we helped launch a cable network with the nhl and nbc sports. the list goes on and on on how important the programming is but i want to bring our content around the world. to do that you'll hear a lot about over-the-top networks. it is being able to deliver content, programming. it probably will not be live
games to devices. you should be able to see highlights, interviews communicate. if you are in india, china russia, if you don't subscribe. there is a whole generation right now of young people who may not get cable. i have two children who both just graduated college. neither one of them for the last 10 years has had a home phone number. they live in apartments. they don't have a home number. can you imagine our generation? your phone number is your cell phone. my son when he went to college did not get local cable. he said, i have my computer. i have slingbox. you have cable.
i have an xbox, netflix. not really sure i need to pay those dollars. they talk about cord-cutters. you will hear that phrase. the next generation will be never on. they will never have subscribed to a newspaper. i have "sports illustrated" here and they are following me today. that was the first magazine i ever subscribed to. i paid and i would wait for it to come. i would read every word of it. my son does not subscribe to any magazines. he has never filled out one of those cards. he reads everything online and most of it is free. there is going to be a whole generation that will not need
tethering, they want it over the top. i will get as much as i can for free and very selectively will i pay for some things i see a lot of value in. >> i thank our guests of honor for this new formatted conversation. mr. bettman, you have a future career as an interviewer. perhaps "meet the press" will consider you. [applause] >> truth be told, i used to have a radio show. >> first, i have some questions for mr. bettman and then mr. leonsis. then we will try to bring it all together by 2:00. mr. bettman, how does a national hockey league choose venues for the winter classic and where do you see future games being held? >> the smart-ass answer would be somewhere between we throw darts and it depends who was harassing me the most. [laughter]
the latter is closest to the truth. actually, we look for to be opportunistic. we started in buffalo with the notion that maybe it would work. once it did, we started looking for what would be the next place we could go to that can build upon it, and continue the growth of the winter classic and all outdoor games as an institution. as we got more and more comfortable building it as an event, as it got a bigger and bigger following, we decided we could try things that some people thought would be crazy. last year, we did an outdoor game in los angeles and it was great. for us to come to the nation's capital, there is a fan base here that ted has built through his organization and through his use of social media and his commitment to the community that made us comfortable that selling out the venue would be no problem. secondly, we would have an
impact on the community that we thought would not just be positive for d.c., but would reflect well on the league. we thought the critical mass was there. as we go forward we will be looking -- because every city, every club wants one. even in florida, arizona. why can't we have one? because it is 80 degrees at night in miami, does not work. [laughter] well, you guys know how to make ice. so, what we do is we try to move it around. it is the same thing with the all-star game, the draft -- >> i told gary it is never hot in washington. >> he also promised me we would never have weather like we had this morning when we were dedicating the legacy rink. we thought what better place at this time in the genesis of the outdoor games than to be here and to bring in the blackhawks
, which is a great team and a great draw. we think there's no better way for us to start 2015. >> full disclosure, we have a question from the representative from the "new jersey advance." >> i happen to be a resident of new jersey. i need to know whether or not i will be canceling my subscription. >> we have already seen a winter classic at yankee stadium. when are we going to see one at the meadowlands? >> we have -- we played two outdoor games last winter in the new york/new jersey metropolitan area. the devils played in the game. we are going to be moving things around before we go back to the place we have been. we have been given many expressions of interest by metlife stadium and the devils but i think for the time being having played a round robin with the rangers, the islanders and the devils -- playing in new york and new jersey is a unique
situation because of the three clubs. if we had only played one game the team that was excluded will say you are driving us out of business. so we had to play two games to make sure everybody was included , but i have a lot of other teams that want the game before we can come back. >> your success as commissioner is indicated in the fact that there seems to be a lot of interest in other cities that want an nhl team. so i have a general question and a few specific questions that begin with specific cities that want a franchise. we expect you to announce it at the national press club. what is your forecast on the prospect of future expansion and having an equal number of teams in the eastern and western conferences? >> ok, let me take that in two
pieces. number one, i try not to be in the prognostication business. i don't like guessing about things. yes, i'm charged with leadership and vision but prognostication is like being the weatherman. we know how often they are not right. we are probably stronger as a league. our franchises are stronger as a group than ever before. our ownership group is the strongest it has ever been. as a result, we are getting expressions of interest from a number of places that don't have franchises. it is gratifying. it is also helping to make franchise values higher and higher almost on a daily basis. we are looking and listening but not doing anything about it. actually, we are not really looking. we are letting people look and we are listening to the expressions of interest. yes, we have 16 teams in the east and 14 in the west. that was by virtue of a
realignment we did a couple of years ago to try to fix what was wrong with our geography. columbus and detroit -- columbus from their inception and detroit for more than 20 years were in the west. they are in the eastern time zone. it made it very difficult for their travel and for their fans when they went on the road and had to play games on television back because if they are on the west coast, it was late at night. we had minnesota in the northwest and they wanted to be in the central. dallas was in the pacific and wanted to be in the central. we realized the only way we can do it and get everybody where they belong was to have 16 in the east and 14 in the west. we are scheduling around that. we don't think it is a problem. however, we do understand that there are some people who do. but we are not going to expand
just for symmetry. somebody's notion of symmetry is not how you make an important business decision as to whether or not you bring in a new partner, a new city, but we will continue to look. obviously, if we were going to expand and somebody wanted a team in the east, it would make the evaluation a little more complicated to say the least because 17 -- 18 in the east and 14 in the west exacerbates what some people perceive to be a problem. the good news is, since we are not in formal expansion mode right now, i'm not worrying about it. >> in the interest of time, i don't expect you to give the pros and cons about the specific cities, but just to let you know, the request i had came from persons who wanted to know about the possibilities of an nhl franchise in seattle or portland or oklahoma or
my hometown of cleveland ohio, where i grew up watching the cleveland barons. >> seattle has expressed an interest previously, before the nba went to oklahoma. oklahoma city tried to get an nhl franchise. we are getting -- las vegas has given us solicitations of interest. we hear from quebec city. we are just listening. >> the canadian ambassador -- >> actually, i was waiting for the quebec city question. he actually was helpful and responsible for getting a team back in winnipeg after the jets left in the 1990's. >> we are pleased to have you. one or two more and then we will move over to your colleague. what are the challenges of working with the players union and will fans be subjected to future nhl lockouts?
>> actually, i am going to answer that, and then i'm going to ask ted a question about that. we don't like lockouts. the fact that i presided over three of them is not a matter of pride. the fact of the matter is we have had some fundamental problems that needed to be addressed. if you don't get the cooperation you need in collective bargaining from the union, we are prepared to do what needs to be done in order to get to a place where you think you can make the business of your game healthy. you sometimes have to go through those. we have had issues related to the union. after we took a year off, i think the union went through four or five executive directors. the last round of negotiations we had a brand-new executive director. but there are things that had to be changed. i get asked if it was worth it. it makes it sound like on some level that i was happy to go through it.
the fact of the matter is we had no choice. we did what we had to do and the game for the last 10 years has never been healthier, never been bigger, never been more popular. the game on the ice has never been better. from an owner's standpoint, how do you view work stoppages? by the way, if i did not have the support of ownership, we could not have gotten through it and achieved the objectives we set out to achieve. >> i think i have been an owner too long because while the commissioner was speaking, i noticed there is a light out up there. [laughter] if you owned a team, you would probably get about 30 e-mails from people saying you have a light out. [laughter] fans deserve the opportunity to have hope and dream and believe their team can be competitive. the system that the nhl has
implemented now has proven out that every city enters the year thinking they can make the playoffs and compete for a stanley cup. we have seen in our league teams that just make it. they finish in the 16th spot and they end up winning the stanley cup that year. one of the great things about the system for the fans is that if you are a really big market you can't outspend somebody in a really small market. the competitiveness there -- you come to the sprint for the playoffs and your team is in it. we did not have a very good year last year and we did not make the playoffs.
the first time in seven years and we missed the playoffs by three points. i look back -- you look at the schedule and say we lost in a shootout here, lost in overtime -- we should have made the playoffs. it is so healthy. the players all want to be on winning teams. i look at some other leagues that don't have a system like that. usually, there are markets that go we are going to spend $40 million on payroll and this other team is going to spend $200 million on payroll. as soon as my player who is young and i develop gets good, he is going to go to another market. what happens, the scar tissue builds up in the fan base because they feel disadvantaged. they don't want to fall in love
with the young player. i believe firmly that the day the washington capitals took off was when alex ovechkin became this great player and an m.v.p. and he announced he wants to stay in washington, d.c. and we signed him to a 13-year contract. [applause] i honestly believe the fan base said we can believe. we can trust he is not going to the first big market he can or a or a canadian team. it was like a verification to the community that this was a great place and we can have a great team. so, i like the system for the benefit of the fans. it starts to put an emphasis on how good you are as a leader and a manager and an owner because you cannot outspend everybody. you need to have a good ahl
system, you have to draft and develop well, you have to make a few trades, manage the cap a lot . a lot goes into it. it makes it more fun to manage. >> how painful are work stoppages from an owner's standpoint? >> like you can't believe. i didn't lay off a person. right? i paid everybody during all the work stoppages. financially, it is really painful. the bank didn't say you don't have to pay the mortgage on the building. emotionally is where it hurts the most because that ebb and flow -- that's the great thing about sports teams. the other day, i was coming to a game with a very important person and we were a little late. he said, what time does the game start? i said, the game starts the same time every game.
it is not like i am going to call over and say we are running late, can you wait to drop the puck? there is a trust embedded in that that you play this many home games and the season starts this week and it ends that week and the playoffs begin this week. when that gets taken away, it feels like death. like a zombie, you walk around and there is nothing to do. you feel terrible for the fans for the workers, for the players. when you make that decision, it is a really difficult decision. you have to make sure that you
come out of it as much stronger which we have proven. the league has never been stronger, the competitiveness has never been better, the play has never been better, the revenue growth has never been better. i think a lot of that comes from the core of the cba that all teams can be competitive. >> i will ask the questions now. >> fix the lights. [laughter] >> we are going to switch the topic. you are involved in the effort to bring the olympics to washington d.c., in 2024. what do you think the prospects are and how would the olympics change our region? >> our country and our community is so in need of big
mission-based projects we can rally around. i just came back from a week overseas and many organizations that people here represent are partially responsible for how the world sees us. we watched sky tv and bbc last week and the tv shows that gets shown, you would think everybody has ebola. every city is closed down because of riots and that there is a race war going on in america. that is the imagery that is basically being delivered to the world. every media outlet has headlines that talks about the dysfunction of washington, d.c. how broken america is and how
dysfunctional the city is. we live here. this is the greatest city in the world. and doing something like the olympics, our theme is unity. russ ramsey, our chairman, is here. we have an opportunity, a once in a generation opportunity to accomplish a lot around a big mission. on a small level, we can reimagine the city. when i was in london last week i got goosebumps in seeing how the east end, which looked like the area around verizon center and now looks like ward seven and ward eight, were totally transformed for the olympic games. some media write things and i go have you been to london?
have you walked around and seen? have you talked to anyone? they made a profit on the games. they created a community where public transportation united a disconnected part of the city. they cleaned the river. they turned the olympic village into low-income housing. the data centers and the fiber that was laid created silicon roundabout which is now their thriving number one job creator for their venture capital community and tech center. we can do that here. we can deal with the scar tissue and the birth defect we have in washington, d.c. we have not been able to embrace and go across the anacostia and make that community a part of ours.
for the world, we are in desperate need to show a united front that we stand for something good. nothing, honestly, nothing is more transformative and healing than the power of sport. do you believe in miracles? yes. [applause] that is representative. >> let me ask you a follow-up question. >> yes, i am passionate. [laughter] >> leading on from your comments, hockey is a rather expensive sport. with the cost of gear and ice time, how can the nhl and the washington capitals and other teams help kids get involved and afford hockey and further diversify the makeup of players in the nhl? either or both.
>> the commissioner should talk because the league has done a good job. a lot of times, this goes to the media reporting, it is not front-page news to talk about the commissioner's work with black colleges and scholarship funds. why would you want to write about that? we just went to ward six in the rain and cold and i'm disappointed not a senior city official was there because it doesn't make big news. we built the playground and gave equipment and built the rink for kids that will have that for decades. we train kids. a hall of fame player was there. in sports teams, we really are in pursuit of a double bottom
line. we have the iceplex and we give 1200 hours a year away to sled hockey and youth hockey and the like. i won't be disingenuous. it is the right thing to do but it is also good business. introducing young people across all economic strata, making the tent as big as possible is smart business. they are the fans of tomorrow. they are the next great defenseman. the number one or number three pick in the draft a couple of years ago was the son of a basketball player who once played for the washington wizards. popeye jones. he got traded to dallas.
while he was in dallas, dallas had a really good hockey team. there was a boon of rinks that m of rinks that were being built. he started playing ice hockey and he could become the greatest defenseman in the league. it is how we will expand the game and the bigger the tent the better. we are very active. >> did you want to add any commentary? >> i would never contradict him. the fact is we spend millions of dollars in support of usa hockey which is the grassroots organization that manages hockey across the united states. we have programs, learn to play programs, try hockey programs. we have a number of clubs that support economically disadvantaged programs. whether or not it is here or ice hockey in harlem or snyder
hockey in philadelphia. where in fact, ed snyder's foundation -- he is the owner of the flyers -- has taken over from the city all the rinks that were dilapidated and were about to be shut down. for me -- this may not make an owner happy in terms of the bottom line but in ted's case the broader objective is something i know he is supportive of -- hockey as a vehicle for disadvantaged children to learn life lessons. be a good student, hard work teamwork, diligence, physical fitness, getting the education you need so you can do anything else. if we can get young people involved in life by using hockey, it will be great if they can become fans and it'll be amazing if they become nhl players, but the last two objectives are not as important as giving back to the community
by making kids to be in a position to go to college and do things with their lives they never would have had an opportunity to do. [applause] >> what is the last board of directors you joined? >> thurgood marshall. >> gary's on the board of the thurgood marshall scholarship college fund. >> we are almost out of time. i just want to interject this format -- you two having a conversation, i think you deserve a special round of applause. [applause] before asking the last question , and since you elected to receive during the first half, you will receive the last question which is a two-parter. first, i'd like to present you each with a traditional national press club mug which we give to our distinguished guest of honor
and you both deserve it. >> thank you. [applause] >> this was not the cup i was expecting. [laughter] >> that was a very good line. >> actually, i'm shortening my concluding remarks because before i ask the last question i would like to ask you one that you just referred to. the last time you spoke here the capitals were having success in its regular season and you predicted a stanley cup championship. i guess we had that on the record in our archives. so, why has that not happened? >> because it's hard. [laughter] >> there are 29 other clubs who want to make sure that does not happen. >> it's very humbling. it's very humbling to realize that ultimately there are 29 failures and one success.
the great thing about sports is you get to try it again. you try new things and you keep making investments. my belief is that we're hard-working enough, smart enough, energetic enough investment oriented enough. keep at it and eventually we will get through it. i do not quit. >> ok. now we are going to switch to the national football league. as a successful owner of two professional sports teams, what advice can you offer the owner of the washington football team and the second part -- should the washington redskins change their name? why or why not? >> i get asked this question all the time and i've been very consistent with my answer. i have great empathy for how difficult it is to lead a team.
i have done some things well and i've had miserable failures. i have done things that i'm not proud of and not executed well on. my plate is full. i would never appreciate another owner talking about the capitals or the wizards and our strategy. i don't think it's appropriate for me to address anything there. [applause] >> we are out of time, which often happens at sports events. i want to thank our two guests so much for being here today and sharing the podium together. we are adjourned. thank you very much. [applause]
>> the c-span cities tour takes booktv and american history tv on the road, traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. this weekend we have partnered with time warner cable for a visit to austin, texas. >> we are in the private suite of linden and lady bird johnson. this was the private quarters for the president and first lady. when i say private, i do mean that. this is not part of a tour offered to the public here it this has never been open to the public. you are seeing it because of c-span's special access. vip's come into this space as they did in lyndon johnson's day but it is not open to visitors on a daily basis. it is really a living, breathing artifact. it has not changed at all since president johnson died in january of 1973. there is a document. in the corner of this room
signed, among others, archivists of the united states, and lady bird johnson telling her predecessors and successors that nothing in this room can change. >> we are here on the 100 block in austin. this is the colorado river. this is a historic site because this is where waterloo was. it consisted of a cluster of cabins occupied by four or five families, including the family of j carroll. this is the spot where the carroll family was. this is where he was staying when the rest of the men got word of the big buffalo herd. so the men jumped on their horses. in those days the avenue was a muddy ravine that led north to the hill where the capital was and the men galloped on their
horses. they rode into the midst of the buffalo, firing and shouting and lamarr shot this enormous buffalo. from there he went to the topical -- to the top of the hill and he told everybody that this should be the scene of the future empire. >> watch these events saturday on booktv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv come on c-span3. >> today on c-span, "washington journal" is next. at 7:00 p.m., "the president's" on q&a. . .
book t.v. ask prime-time each night on c-span 2. the c span cities tour takes book keeping and american history t.v. on the road traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history, and we partner with time warner cable for a visit to austin texas. whatever in the sweet of this was a private quarters of the president, and when i say private, do mean that. this is not part of a tour that involves the public. this is has never been open, and you're something it because of c-span's special access, vips come in this space, just to be ask but it's not open to our visitors on a daily basis and the remashable thing, it's a live, breeding artifact, and it hasn't changed at all as soon as president johnson died in january 1973, in the corner of it room, the then and ladybird johnson seconder telling my predecessors, nothing in this room can change. so we're here at the 100 block of congress avenue, to my left, just down the block is the river, colorado river and, this is an important historic site is, because this is where waterloo's audauthor waterloo was and were occupied by f